It’s official – the champ Rewind has won more races than any other Tasmanian greyhound has done before him.
Now four years and two months of age, the son of Collide recorded his 55th victory when he disposed of his rivals in Tuesday’s WHK General Insurance Invitation (452 metres) conducted at the Devonport Raceway.
The previous Thursday night at the HGRC meeting conducted at Tattersalls Park in Hobart, he equalled the previous record of 54 victories established in the late 1950’s by Valiant Spirit.
Owned and prepared by Bracknell’s Maurie Strickland, Rewind has been to the sports on 90 occasions for 55 wins and 25 placings, while accumulating a purse of $222,290.
On Tuesday he appeared to be in trouble on the corner as a raging $1.30 favourite, racing in the middle of the track and spotting the tearaway leader Franklin Bluboy several lengths.
However as is usually the case, he gathered momentum in the straight and forged to the lead, eventually scoring by a length in the time of 25.73.
One of the most popular greyhounds to have ever graced the arena in Tasmania, the champ is expected to contest next week’s City Of Devonport Cup (452 metres) at his favourite venue, which has seen him record 22 wins and six placings from 31 attempts.
“It is amazing how popular Rewind is, in fact he has gained recognition Australia wide,” a humble Maurie Strickland explained after the race.
“People ring me from all over Australia, for example one old fellow from Brisbane rings me every couple of weeks for an update and says that he walks to his local pub and watches him every time he races.”
Valiant Spirit, by Farrago from Bright Ess, was bred by Mrs Andy Johnson and whelped in March 1955.
Despite having won a race at his third attempt for trainer Jack Slater, owner John Hawksley considered that his future was limited and sold the chaser to accomplished mentor Jim Breen, who quickly transformed him into a super star.
At the conclusion of his career, Valiant Spirit had won 12 races on the flat and 42 over the hurdles, meaning that he is probably the greatest ever Tasmanian hurdler.
In 2010 he was inducted into the Tasmanian Greyhound Racing Hall Of Fame, joining such champions as Ophir Doll, True Vintage, Mystery Bridge, Oak Queen, Peace Gift, Social Dancer, Top Shiraz, Ebony Minda, Bomber’s A Flyer, Busy Vintage, Royal Griffin, Wynlee Wonder and Red Avis.
Prior to purchasing Rewind from breeder Terry Penny, probably the best greyhound that Maurie Strickland had prepared was also a hurdler – the flying Golden Unicorn.
“He won 40 races in total and I think 38 of them were over the hurdles, including eleven in succession at one stage of his career,” he explained.
“He had an almighty leap, in fact one night in Hobart he was third approaching a hurdle but passed the two dogs in front of him in mid-air, it was a wonderful spectacle.”
Meanwhile the brilliant bitch She’s All Class, lived up to her name at Tuesday’s NWGRC meeting by winning the WHK Classic (452 metres) in brilliant fashion.
Forced to race outside the speedy Cointreau Cap for the majority of the race, the David Crosswell owned and prepared daughter of Dyna Lachlan prevailed in a fighting finish, recording the fastest time of the day 26.69.